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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Russo, Richard: That Old Cape Magic

  Amazon  

5 stars

Richard Russo's latest novel is organized loosely around two weddings, but its focus is on two marriages of longer duration--those of the parents and grandparents of bride number two. The first wedding takes place on Cape Cod, where Jack Griffin, Hollywood scriptwriter turned English professor, once honeymooned and where he had always summered with his parents as a boy. Jack's parents, one of them dead already at the book's outset, were an odious pair of unhappily married narcissists for whom nothing--whether academic position or rental property or neighbor--was ever good enough. They both haunt him now, particularly his mother, spouting elitist commentary over the phone or in his imagination. Troubled by signs that his own marriage is failing ("What did you expect?" his mother might interject." She never did graduate work."), Jack finds himself coming to terms with his unwelcome inheritance of some of his parents' personality traits. His marital crisis, meanwhile, and time spent again in Cape Cod leave him reexamining his childhood, but there are hints that his memory may be imperfect, or that his childhood self may not have been privy to the whole story of, for example, his parents' marriage.

Russo's title refers to the song "That Old Black Magic," which his parents regularly sang on the way to the Cape, with some of the words changed. But the magic here lies in Russo's writing. It's a mystery to me how the author, using the same set of words that is available to the rest of us, can craft from them such a thought-provoking story and a cast of complex, flesh-and-blood characters. Russo is surely one of our finest writers.

Comments

1.

excellent! looks good, I'll try to read this book.

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